Overall retail apparel prices dropped a seasonally adjusted 0.4 percent last month, after rising in May.
Women’s apparel prices increased 1.2 percent in June, while men’s apparel prices were down 0.9 percent. Girls’ apparel prices edged up 0.2 percent, and boys’ apparel prices increased 0.6 percent.
Within the women’s sector, outerwear prices rose 3.4 percent last month, although it’s not a prime time for selling in that market. Suits and separates prices increased 1.5 percent, while the combined underwear, nightwear, sportswear and accessories category saw a 0.5 percent hike in prices. Dresses were the only area to see declines, with prices off 0.3 percent.
In men’s wear, the only price gain was in furnishings, where prices were up 0.4 percent. All other sectors saw price declines — shirts and sweaters were down 1.8 percent; suits, sports coats and outerwear dropped 1.2 percent, and pants and shorts fell 1.1 percent.
Fabric and fiber prices have generally been flat or up just slightly, likely contributing to the lack of pricing power in apparel.
For a second month in a row, the overall Consumer Price Index rose 0.2 percent, leaving the year-on-year increase at 1 percent.
Core prices, excluding food and energy, advanced 0.2 percent month-over-month for a third consecutive month, while a 1.3 percent jump in energy prices was offset by a 0.1 percent decline in food prices.
Chris G. Christopher Jr. director, IHS Global Insights, said, “The consumer price story remained the same in June, as gains in energy and core prices were offset by a slight decline in food prices.”
Christopher said the composition of core price moves in June matched what has been going on for a long time, with commodity prices moving lower and services prices climbing.
“This pattern is likely to continue in the near term, as a strong dollar keeps goods price inflation subdued,” he added. “Firming core inflation, along with continuing gains in the labor market, suggests that the U.S. economy is on solid footing.”